Mayor Sandack called the Workshop meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Village Hall. The Mayor led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Present:Mayor Ron Sandack; Commissioners William Waldack, Sean P. Durkin, Geoff Neustadt, Bruce Beckman, Bob Barnett; Village Manager Dave Fieldman; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Absent:Commissioner Marilyn Schnell
Visitors: Press: Catherine Leydon, Downers Grove Reporter Residents: Phil Cullen, Ballydoyle Irish Pub, 5157 Main Street; Marta Cullen, Dream Interiors, 5122 Main Street; Norb and Jacque Farnaus, Noah’s Hope, 518 Claremont Drive; Tracy and Jen Van Houtan, Noah’s Hope, 2050 Prairie Avenue; Tonie and Dan Harrington, Noah’s Hope, 6618 Fairmount; Sheryl Van Anne 4822 Washington Street; Gary Brady, 994 Warren Avenue; Ron Bolognia, 994 Warren Avenue; Michael and Jacob Spohn, Troop 9 Boy Scouts, 6813 Osage Avenue; Ron Rocco, 5123 Main Street; Mike Davenport, 6636 Blackstone; Lloyd Grant, 430 Buckingham Place; John Schofield, 1125 Jefferson, John Morris Staff: Tom Dabareiner, Director, Community Development; Mike Baker, Deputy Village Manager; Doug Kozlowski, Director, Communications; Liangfu Wu, Director, Information Technology, Jeff Rice, Systems Administrator, Information Technology; Stan Balicki, Assistant Director, Public Works; Judy Buttny, Director, Finance; Mary Scalzetti, Director, Community Events; Nan Naneil, Director, Public Works, Brandon Dieter, Management Analyst
Mayor Sandack explained that Council Workshop meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. The meetings are video taped live and for later cable cast over cable channel 6.
The Workshop meeting is intended to provide Council and the public with an appropriate forum for informal discussion of any items intended for future Council consideration or just for general information. No formal action is taken at Workshop meetings.
The public is invited to attend and encouraged to comment or ask questions in an informal manner on any of the items being discussed or on any other subject. The agenda is created to provide a guideline for discussion.
1. Motion to Allow Commissioner Schnell to Participate in the May 26, 2009 Village Council Workshop Meeting by Telephone
Motion allowing Commissioner Schnell to Participate in the May 26, 2009 Village Council Workshop Meeting by Telephone. This allows Commissioner Schnell to participate in the Council Workshop meeting by telephone.
Commissioner Durkin moved to adopt “A Motion allowing Commissioner Schnell to Participate in the May 26, 2009 Village Council Workshop Meeting by Telephone, ” as presented. Commissioner Barnett seconded the motion.
VOTE : AYES : Commissioners Durkin, Barnett, Beckman, Neustadt, Waldack, Schnell; Mayor Sandack NAYS : None
Mayor Sandack declared the Motion passed.
Commissioner Schnell present via telephone connection as approved by Motion.
Mayor Sandack proclaimed May 29 and 30, 2009 as Noah Van Houtan Days in Downers Grove to increase public awareness of Batten Disease and to raise funds for research. He further proclaimed June 5, 6, and 7, 2009 as Batten Disease Awareness Days in Downers Grove. The Mayor then presented the Van Houtan family with the Proclamation.
Tracy Van Houtan, father of Noah, explained that Noah began having seizures and other neurological problems over the past 1 ½ years, and they learned two months ago that Noah has Batten Disease. They want to help Noah and raise awareness of the disease and funds for research. Mr. Van Houtan said that, as an orphan disease, there is very little money going into this research. They hope to raise funds for treatment options for their son, as well as treatment in the future for other children so others will not have to have this experience. He thanked the Mayor and Council for their support, and reminded everyone of the garage sale.
The Mayor thanked Mr. Van Houtan and said that the announcement of the garage sale is on Downers Grove TV.
2. Quarterly Reports
Economic Development Corporation Quarterly Report: 1st Quarter – 2009.
Greg Bedalov , President of the Economic Development Corporation, 2001 Butterfield, presented the quarterly report for the first quarter of 2009 (which represent purchases made in the Village in October, November and December 2008). He included a summary page on the five benchmarks, as well as comparative information with other communities. He explained that the figures reflect a component of Home Rule Sales Tax. With Home Rule Sales Tax, the first quarter sales tax decreased 5.49% in Downers Grove, and 12% in DuPage County. He noted that all sectors have been hit hard by the economy. Hotel revenue was down 12% as well. He said there are signs of improvement in the second quarter, due to some of the economic development accomplishments over the past six months in the Village.
Mr. Bedalov said that there is a 1.16% increase in the commercial/industrial EAVs for 2008. Class A occupancy vacancies have increased by 300,000 square feet versus the prior year due to new office space as a result of Highland Landmark V. DeVry, Inc. will be occupying 150,000 square feet of that office space. He also noted that PNC Bank will increase its employees in Downers Grove. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has done what it can to encourage businesses to stay in Illinois. Downers Grove has been a recipient of their efforts. In terms of employment, the Village has seen a job decrease of 1,496, or 6.74% which is in line with County figures. This is 2% higher than 2008.
Commissioner Schnell asked how confident the EDC is that the EAV increased. Mr. Bedalov said that the figures are reported to them by the Assessor’s office. He is confident of that number.
Downtown Management Corporation (DMC) Quarterly Report: 1st Quarter – 2009.
Linda Kunze , President of the Downtown Management Corporation, presented the first quarter report, saying that retail occupancy has increased from 96% to 99%. Retail rents decreased from $22 per square foot to $18.50 per square foot. Office occupancy rates have decreased from 95% to 92%, and office rates have increased from $21.95 to $27.65 per square foot. Ms. Kunze said that the retail mix is continually monitored and they are working to recruit a number of new businesses. She noted the opening of two businesses in Charles Place. She reported on the new businesses that have opened in the downtown area. She said that she attended a conference in Chicago wherein it was stated that during recession times, downtown areas historically have maintained themselves. Ms. Kunze thanked those who participated in the Strategic Planning meeting.
Mr. Bedalov and Ms. Kunze then made a joint presentation. Mr. Bedalov announced that Michael’s Fresh Market has approached the EDC for a tax rebate for the property former occupied by Dominick’s at 75th and Lemont Road. That did not work; however, the EDC and DMC are working on having a Michael’s Fresh Market in the downtown area. He believes they have reached an agreement, if there is a sales tax incentive program. Mr. Bedalov said that they are before the Council because they hope to obtain conceptual support for a sales tax incentive program.
Mayor Sandack said that the Council has resoundingly heard of the need for a downtown grocery market. This is not the best time to start a business, and based on square footage and rental rates, this type of market is difficult to start. He said that the Council would not be doing its duty if they did not look at the possibility.
Commissioner Barnett agreed that it is the Council’s duty to consider this and try to find a way to make this project work
Commissioner Beckman said that this is an item he has heard on a recurring basis. If there were any way to make this work, he would like to see it move forward.
Commissioner Waldack said that it is telling that the EDC turned down the incentive program for 75th Street, and shows that not everything moves forward. He will be happy to look at any deal, and he thanked Mr. Bedalov and Ms. Kunze for their work.
Commissioner Neustadt expressed his appreciation for their hard work as well. It is important that the EDC and the DMC work together for the common good of Downers Grove. He is interested in seeing the details.
Commissioner Durkin said he was excited about 75th Street. He also supports a market in the downtown area. He looks forward to moving forward on this.
Commissioner Schnell thanked Mr. Bedalov and Ms. Kunze for their efforts, saying she thinks this will be a win for everyone.
3. Active Agenda and Informational Items
Final Plat of Subdivision – 4822 Washington . The Manager said this includes two platted lots, which the owner wishes to consolidate into a 60’ wide lot. No exceptions are being requested. This will allow construction of a new house at a later time.
Sheryl Van Anne , 4822 Washington, thanked the Village Council for looking at this petition.
Façade Improvement Grant for 994 Warren Avenue.
Façade Improvement Grants for 5123 Main Street. The Manager said Tom Dabareiner, Director, Community Development, would review the petitions for both 944 Warren and 5123 Main Street.
Tom Dabareiner , Director, Community Development, reviewed the downtown façade program, which was adopted January 20, 2009, in conjunction with the Downtown Management Corporation. It is a dollar-for-dollar grant up to $15,000 for the façade only. Funds up to $40,000 for life safety and ADA upgrades are also available. He explained that projects must be consistent with the Design Guidelines in the Downtown Pattern Book. The Village Manager can approve projects of less than $10,000. Projects over $10,000 must come before the Architectural Design Review Board and the Village Council. One grant was awarded on May 22 by Manager’s approval, and there are three grants pending, two of which are before the Village Council tonight.
Mr. Dabareiner then addressed the 944 Warren properties, which is the combination of Rocca’s and Toscano’s restaurants. They have requested $15,000 for façade work, and $3,000 for upgrades to the fire alarm system, for a total of $18,000. The work was completed in April 2009. He displayed photographs of the area. He said that the ADRB and the staff found that the work complies with the guidelines, but some of the work is permanent and other work is seasonal. Therefore, instead of the $18,000 requested, $11,500 is considered eligible for reimbursement.
Commissioner Neustadt asked if staff’s recommendation is based on $23,000 for permanent components of the improvement, and Mr. Dabareiner said that was correct. Commissioner Neustadt said he supports the recommendation.
Commissioner Barnett asked for an explanation of permanent versus temporary, and rehabbing versus expansion. Mr. Dabareiner explained that there are multiple facets to the program. There is recognition of the need to make improvements in terms of design and façade of buildings in the downtown area, as well as the need for safety improvements. This grew out of the Downtown Pattern Book, and many communities use façade programs to attract or retain businesses. This provides an opportunity as well to incorporate fire and life safety issues into the upgrade. The core of the program, however, is façade improvements. In further response to Commissioner Barnett, he said that this program is one way to attract businesses into the Village. The only restriction currently is to prohibit or discourage businesses for coming in $5,000 one year and $5,000 another to avoid the $10,000 limit. He explained that the money for these grants comes from TIF funds.
Commissioner Waldack said that the purpose of this is not strictly to bring business into the downtown, but once a business opens, this program can be used. Mr. Dabareiner said that was correct because the program, by itself, is not enough to attract new business, but a grocery store might use it once it is opened.
The Manager said that the Village is in competition with other communities. This is to be used as a tool to separate Downers Grove from other communities.
Commissioner Waldack commented regarding the grants and said approvals made by the Village Manager should be reported to the Village Council.
Commissioner Schnell said that she agrees that the improvements made to Main Street in this case are permanent, but that those on Warren are temporary. She noted that funding is limited.
The Mayor commented that this was a well-intended experiment. Everyone agreed to the guidelines established. The funding mechanism was discussed extensively. He said the program provides an incentive to businesses to upgrade their property and bring new life into the downtown area. The downtown is the heart of the Village and we want to see it thrive. He said he would generally defer to the recommendation of the ADRB . He sees this as a good mix and intends to follow the ADRB and staff recommendation.
Mr. Dabareiner then referenced 5123 Main Street, saying that Gatto’s is requesting $15,000 for façade improvements and $40,000 for installation of life safety equipment and accessibility. The ADRB recommended approval of the request without specifying an award amount; however, staff disagrees that the façade meets the minimum qualifications as a discouraged material was used, and other items were of concern.
In response to the Mayor, Mr. Dabareiner said one application has been awarded funds, and three applications pending. The Mayor commented that they should take applicants as they come, and not encourage people to wait until the end of the year.
Ron Rocco , building owner of 5123 Main Street, said he doesn’t understand the concern with materials used. He is the building owner of 5127, 5127A, and 5123 Main Street, 1012, 1014 Curtiss and other properties. He has tried to build and improve the downtown and has lived through 25 years of the downtown Downers Grove development. He indicated that he believes he has been a strong reason for the growth of the downtown area. He signed off on his parking spaces 1 ½ years ago, and has yet not received parking spaces behind the property, even though he pays taxes on that property. Mr. Rocco said he was told not to worry about applying for the façade improvement funds, and was told to go forward. The amount put into the building is probably five times the amount being requested. He is a one-man-band, and does not know what else the Council wants from him. He feels this is a reasonable request.
The Mayor explained that staff doesn’t support it because the building work was finished before the program was established, and the improvements don’t meet the criteria.
Mr. Rocco said that he has not finished the work yet.
Mike Davenport , 6636 Blackstone, Chairman of the ADRB , said that this was a case where the ADRB and staff did not see eye to eye. He wants to be sure that the position of the ADRB is heard. The ADRB wanted the word “discouraged” removed from the façade improvement policy. Part of their deliberations revolved around that word. They took a great deal of time to review staff’s checklist and felt that the project complied 87% with the checklist, versus the staff’s 59% compliance. Commissioner Beckman questioned the use of exterior materials, as that was a concern. Mr. Davenport responded that the Exterior Insulation Finishing System (EIFS) material gets a bad rap. He feels this material is worthy of consideration. In appearance it is exactly the same of stucco, which was not discouraged. EIFS has to be maintained, but its life cycle is similar to stucco.
Commissioner Waldack said that EIFS has been discouraged but not outlawed. Stucco has been used for centuries and is permeable. EIFS is not permeable and locks in the moisture that causes problems over time and results in lawsuits. He can see keeping this as a discouraged material, and hates to provide an incentive for a material that will lead to repairs later. He also disagrees that it is durable. Commissioner Waldack said he believes they should continue to discourage its use. The ADRB didn’t want to see it used on more buildings down the street.
Mr. Davenport responded that many of the lawsuits were filed early on. The product has undergone several evolutions and is acceptable, similar in use to plaster, and meets building code requirements. From his professional opinion, it is totally an acceptable product. He understands the research on the product. Mr. Davenport said the ADRB didn’t want to discourage any materials.
Commissioner Durkin said he supported the program due to work completed by the owner of the Gatto’s property. There was a major improvement to the facility. They took an older building and made it into a newer building. He disagrees with staff’s recommendation and would like to approve the request of $15,000 for the façade improvements. This is the type of work he had hoped would be done as a result of this program.
Commissioner Neustadt said that there are only two grants in front of the Council. The guidelines are set in the Downtown Pattern Book. Mr. Rocco’s businesses are thriving and Mr. Rocco has been behind much of the growth in the district. His concern is awarding a grant when materials have been discouraged, and therefore he supports staff’s recommendation of $30,175, with additional review to be certain it is proper. He supports the life-safety improvements.
Commissioner Beckman said he appreciates the improvements being made, but does not feel they fulfilled the expectations of the guidelines. He understands the importance of life safety and can support a grant of $30,175 with a caveat that this is the actual figure.
Commissioner Barnett commented that he has trouble with the word “discouraged.” He referenced problems in the past with stucco products. Commissioner Barnett said he agrees that deference should be given to Boards and Commissions. He asked how staff would view this if the word “discouraged” was not in the policy, and asked about the distinction between life safety and façade.
The Manager said staff works with the applicant to determine this.
Commissioner Barnett said he would be in support of the $30,175 and would like to see consideration of the façade as well.
Commissioner Waldack said there are ways to bring incentives. This is an improvement program and there are materials and actions we want to have, and those we do not want. He noted that this project was completed in 2008, and the program wasn’t installed until 2009. He sees approval of this as a bad precedent, and would be turning the program into a rewards program for work done before the façade improvement program began using materials that were clearly discouraged. Commissioner Waldack continued that 95% of the homes in California that used this product have had moisture problems. He does not feel they can fully award this grant. There is only $100,000 set aside for this project, and it troubles him that someone who followed the rules might not be able to obtain funds.
Mr. Rocco responded that he is not looking at this as a rewards program. He was told by three staff members not to worry about the date, and not to leave the building boarded up for seven months while the program was being approved. He showed staff the materials all along the way and felt that he followed the rules. He feels the program is a first come-first served basis, and should not be judged on who may come in later for funds. On Charles Place, they went ahead with the façade improvements and then came back for reimbursement. He felt he followed the rules.
Marta Cullen , 4720 Middaugh, Chair of the Downtown Management Corporation Façade Improvement Program, said she was very involved in the pattern book and guidelines. She feels this project warrants consideration of the façade program. The town is changing and not everything is going to look old. The new façade is next to the salon, and the entire building is uniform in look. They need to look at the adjacent building to make a determination. She said that this building is a nice transition from all EIFS to partial EIFS . She also said that the doors opening up to the street create a wonderful atmosphere. The tinted glass doors is part of doing business. They did not want the use of the word discouraged, but would rather encourage certain materials.
Mr. Davenport said that the ADRB was concerned about the retroactive nature of the application, but determined that it was in tandem with the guidelines. The ADRB decision was unanimous.
Phil Cullen of Ballydoyle, residing at 4720 Middaugh, said that he supports natural stone and brick, etc., noting however that Herbert’s building needed a lot of work. He believes that it has brought new life to that side of the street, and the restaurant has added to the downtown area.
Commissioner Schnell asked whether Mr. Rocco is eligible for this, as he believes the staff or someone from the Village told him he could apply for it. She said that Mr. Rocco believes he applied in good faith. The ADRB said that they think the exterior of the building looks great, and she defers to the ADRB regarding the guidelines. She also believes it would be nice to weigh all the grant applications at one time. At a minimum, she would be in favor of a grant for the life safety improvements. To grant the requested $55,000 would leave a small amount for other applications. She would like to review this with respect to additional amounts.
Mayor Sandack said this is the second Workshop where Council is trying to change the tempo and tenor of the meetings. Workshops were intended to foster discussion, which often leads to disagreement. The Council has a well thought out staff opinion and the ADRB recommendation that went in another direction. Staff is charged to stay tight to the objective criteria. The ADRB is made up of citizens who take the report and use their experience to look at petitions from a different perspective. That give and take oftentimes produces good results.
The Mayor referred to the January 13, 2009 Workshop minutes and noted the discussion of the term “discouraged” materials. He noted that the ADRB did not want to include this term. This is the first time the Village has had this program and it is an experiment in the works. He said he did not feel that the issue was eligibility to apply. Mr. Rocco is a neighbor and should be treated that way. He feels staff did that by referring the request to the ADRB . This is an example of democracy at work, and he feels it is an eligible application and was treated as such. He also feels that the building looks fantastic. He said that he thought everyone involved in this did what was intended. Life safety improvements were made to the building. He suggested that the wording of the ordinance be revisited. The Mayor said he believes the applicant met the spirit and intent of the ordinance, and that staff has undertaken the task they were given.
Authorize the Disposal of Surplus Vehicles and Equipment. The Manager said this authorizes the Manager to dispose of vehicles and other equipment through the DuPage Mayors and Managers auction.
Commissioner Durkin said he forwarded an e-mail to the Manager from an organization connected with the Mannheim Arena auction house, and asked staff to review. The Manager said staff would check on the time sensitivity and do a comparison analysis.
Commissioner Neustadt said that e-bay and Craigslist have been used in the past, noting that DMMC charges 15% for each sale. He suggests looking for the best value.
Commissioner Schnell said she supports this.
3. Consent Agenda Items
Manager Fieldman reviewed the Consent Agenda items, and responded to questions and comments from the Village Council and the public.
E-mail Archiving Software. The Manager said this is to approve the purchase of e-mail archiving software from StorCOM, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $25,000.
John Schofield , 1125 Jefferson, said he was in favor of this as it is in the spirit of transparency. Several years ago he attempted to obtain information on a matter of concern and was unable to do so. With regard to the cost, the figure is for purchase, but not maintenance for the equipment, training, etc. He noted that lifecycle costs would better serve the community. Maintenance costs are quire high. With regard to policy, there are policy implications such as retention and requiring everyone to use the e-mail system. Mr. Schofield said he questions the process and suggested that the Technology Commission review this.
Commissioner Waldack asked why this was not sent to the Technology Commission as it may be a good step to do so.
Commissioner Beckman said he is somewhat familiar with Mr. Schofield’s comments, and concurs with Commissioner Waldack’s suggestion.
The Mayor asked for a synopsis of the software. The Manager said that the software is to archive or store e-mails that hit the Village’s system. The annual maintenance cost is $8,500. The purchase price was negotiated to $25,000 from $50,000.
The Mayor noted that eight proposals were received.
Liangfu Wu , Director, Information Services, said that this went through the RFP process. This will archive everything that hits the system and mimics a folder system of storage. The maintenance cost is standard, based upon the full price.
The Manager said that several of the Consent Agenda items have been brought to the Council by the innovation team to save money and perform more efficiently.
Bid: Liquid Deicer . The Manager said this is to approve the purchase of 27,000 gallons of Magic Minus Zero liquid deicer from Building Maintenance Systems, Inc. of Barrington, Illinois in the amount of $86,210. This product is considered environmentally gentle because it is biodegradable and contributes to a 30%-50% reduction in salt use resulting in a 4% savings.
Commissioner Beckman thanked the staff for providing information. He said that he has a new driveway and every year there is deterioration caused by the use of salt materials. If this product reduces that, he is in favor of if.
Commissioner Waldack recommended that the ECC look at this, and the LED lighting item.
Bid: LED Lighting for Parking Deck. The Manager said this is to approve the purchase of 31 LED sign retrofit kits from Bright Green Technology, Ltd. of Richmond, Surrey, United Kingdom in the amount of $26,128.20. The budget includes funds for the purchase of parking deck lighting materials including induction fluorescent fixtures as well as LED sign retrofit kits. The induction fluorescent fixtures were approved for purchase by the Village Council in April. Grant funding will offset the cost. Based on the maintenance and energy savings, the return on investment for this project is two years.
Commissioner Neustadt commented that this is considerably better than what is presently in the garage.
Utility Billing Printing and Mailing Services. The Manager said this is a three-year contract that was competitively bid, with 12 responses. The recommendation was based on their extensive experience, competitive cost proposal, experience with Eden software, and track record of working with other units of local government.
The Mayor said he is in support of this, noting they are also a local business.
Mr. Bedalov said that Infosend has made a decision to relocate its east coast business to Downers Grove in the Ellsworth business park.
Maintenance of Camera Security Systems at Fire Station #2, Police Station and Parking Deck. The Manager said the innovation team saw an opportunity to restructure the contract to a 3-year program and save $9,000.
Commissioner Waldack said that the routine has been one-year contracts and questioned a three-year contract. He noted this is very innovative. This is an example of a proprietary system, and he asked whether the Village would have been better to remain with a more general system. He is leery of proprietary systems.
Commissioner Beckman said that an open architecture system has tradeoffs. He appreciates that the Village is looking at a three-year contract here.
Membership Renewal – DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference. The Manager said the DMMC membership renewal is $36,776.40. He noted that the DMMC conducts the surplus auction to keep costs down.
The Mayor said that Downers Grove is a charter member of the DMMC . There are 34 members, and part of its function is lobbying and procurement. The Village has been a member since the Conference was established.
Commissioner Beckman commented that he supports participation in the programs to gain knowledge. The Village is looking for opportunities to save money. He asked what benefits the Village receives for its $37,000. He appreciates the information obtained from the DMMC . He noted, however, that the Village went with an independent lobbyist for the Belmont Underpass and for other funding. He would like to know that this is making a contribution to the Village.
Manager Fieldman said that staff can continue to assert itself in a leadership role in the DMMC .
Mayor Sandack said that the DMMC is a dispensing organization for state and federal dollars. There is a high correlation between being a member and being a recipient of funds. He doesn’t think you can differentiate between the grants the Village receives as a result of its membership.
Commissioner Durkin commented that he has been active in the DMMC , and that you get out of it what you put into it. He encouraged the Council members to become involved, and agrees that the Village should put itself in a position of leadership. DMMC has a full-time lobbyist fighting for DuPage County as a whole. Commissioner Durkin said the membership needs to be reviewed, but he thinks the best way is to discuss matters with the Executive Director.
Commissioner Beckman said he feels that the Village should proceed with its membership, but he thinks they need to review matters such as these.
The Mayor said he has not been fully satisfied with the return on the Village’s investment, but believes the Village should take advantage of every opportunity. He thinks the Village should also look inward first.
Commissioner Waldack agreed that you get out of it what you put into it. He said that the Village made use of their consultant on the Circulator Study, saying that the Village opted out, but the funding was available.
Commissioner Durkin said that the Village is tied to a mortgage through 2023.
Commissioner Schnell said that she has been involved for over 20 years. The DMMC tries to represent all communities, and she believes it behooves everyone to get involved by trying to attend the monthly meetings. She said that the STP funding probably outweighs the dues, and she encouraged her colleagues to get involved.
MANAGER ’S REPORT
Collaborative Marketing Plan.
Doug Kozlowski , Director of Communications, discussed the collaborative marketing plans between the Village of Downers Grove, the Economic Development Corporation and the Downtown Management Corporation (DMC), which he said works well. He referenced the efforts to build an e-mail database, as well as referencing key communicators groups representing non-profit organizations. He introduced Linda Kunze of the DMC .
Ms. Kunze said that the goals of this plan are to promote Downers Grove, maximize resources, provide a database, strategically plan promotions and challenges, and utilize the resources in the community. While each group focuses on individual areas, the goal is the same. She reviewed the goals of the groups.
Mary Scalzetti , Director, Community Events, said that collaboration of the organizations toward achieving their goals leads to efficiency. Collaboration can lead to joint purchasing, increasing ad sponsorship, and improving on-line presence. She identified examples, such as advertising for Heritage Festival, marketing between organizations, etc. The objective is to get a unified message to the community to be in Downers Grove.
Cindy Klima of the Economic Development Corporation said that the team has focused on three areas, planning, tracking, and marketing/advertising materials. She indicated that web-based ads are being developed, and signage in Class A buildings is being expanded. Ads that reach multiple events build the database and drive visitors to the websites. Ms. Klima noted the kick-off efforts during restaurant week. She said that many avenues of communication have been identified, and people have called to find out how to become involved. She said that the team has taken is impressions and reduced impression costs from $.35 per event to $.01. They are devising ways to accurately track results, noting that this is a work in progress.
Mayor Sandack congratulated the team, saying that one of the Strategic Plan goals is to partner with others. Using technology is another strategic planning initiative.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting three items to the Council: 1) A resolution approving the final plat of subdivision for 4822 Washington Avenue; 2) A resolution authorizing execution of a maintenance agreement and addendum agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Advent Systems, Inc.; and 3) An ordinance authorizing the sale by public auction of personal property owned by the Village of Downers Grove.
Lloyd Grant , 430 Buckingham Place, commented on problems the waste removal provider, ARC , saying his wife noticed several events where the recycling people were placing garbage in the truck. She called the Village with the information. It has happened several times. Mr. Grant said that people expect recycling to be handled properly. The Mayor assured Mr. Grant that staff would follow-up on this.
John Schofield , 1125 Jefferson, thanked the Village staff, saying he was out of town last week, but was able to listen to the podcast of the long range planning session and view the information on the website.
John Morris , a resident of Knottingham on 75th Street, commented on the condition of the street. It is scheduled for replacement in 2011. He has received e-mails from people with comments that they cannot last that long.
The Mayor said that staff is trying to adhere to the Street Plan. They are looking for any possible funding and will look into doing the work more quickly.
Commissioner Beckman commented that based on the EDC data and the reduced sales tax figures, it is more important than ever for people to dine and shop in Downers Grove.
Commissioner Neustadt reminded everyone that there are 31 days until Heritage Festival.
The Mayor said that Commissioner Neustadt and he participated in the Memorial Day events, including a parade and ceremony at Fishel Park. He thanked everyone for their participation in the events.
Mayor Sandack commented on the Springfield Drive Down, saying that the capital budget was approved by the Senate and is sitting on Governor Quinn’s desk. The good news is that our local legislators, staff, council and lobbyist met with many people and made our case known. He said he has been told that Downers Grove is making a name for itself in Springfield.
The Mayor commented that the grocery store concept in the downtown area would be wonderful. It is needed, and the Council will do everything it can to make is happen.
The Mayor reminded everyone about Noah Van Houtan days for the young boy who has been stricken with Batten Disease. He encouraged people to go to the garage sale at 4910 Pershing Avenue on Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 9:32 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh